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FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

About The Film
Eastwood was initially attracted to the project after reading the best-selling book Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers. Bradley is the son of John Bradley, the Navy Corpsman in the photograph. Although James Bradley knew that his father had been one of the flag-raisers on Iwo Jima, the war had been a taboo subject in their family. (In fact, James Bradley did not even know that his father had been awarded the Navy Cross, the second-highest honor a sailor can receive, for his actions on Iwo Jima.) Eastwood felt that a project that focused on both the events that led up to the flag-raising and what happened to the men after they returned home would pose an exciting challenge for him as a director.

"It turned out that DreamWorks had bought the property. I mentioned to Steven Spielberg that I liked the property very much, and I just left it hanging in the air like that,” says Eastwood. "Then, a couple of years ago, I ran into Steven at a function and he said, ‘Why don't you come over and do the project? You direct it and I'll produce it with you.' So I said, ‘OK, I'll do that.'”

Spielberg – who made a memorable WWII film with "Saving Private Ryan,” for which he won the Oscar® for best director – says that Eastwood's remarkable career and filmmaking principles left no question that the film was in good hands. "Over the three and a half decades since I first met Clint, it has been wonderful to see the range, confidence, and mastery of his work keep growing,” he says. "His body of work – in the sheer variety of its themes and moods – has no comparisons in the modern movie world. It has been equally wonderful to see the world offer Clint its acclaim and affection for his work and recognize in Clint an artistry that no one has ever heard him claim for himself. Maybe that's the most wonderful thing of all about this story – watching Clint remain the same man he's always been; that is to say, totally unimpressed with himself. ‘Lessness is bestness' he likes to say-- and that applies especially to his own ego and his dependence on trust. Trust – in his cast, in his crew—reflects Clint's own trust in himself, in his own instincts, whether he's casting or choosing material or setting up a shot.”

The screenplay is by William Broyles, Jr. and Paul Haggis from James Bradley's book. The book was published in 2000 by Bantam Books and became nothing short of a sensation. It spent 46 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, including six weeks at #1. 

Bradley was inspired to write the book after his father's death; realizing that he knew only that his father had been a flag-raiser and nothing else, he began interviewing the families of the other flag-raisers. "I never set out to write a book – I set out to find out why my dad was silent,” says Bradley. "I decided to write the book when I realized that everyone knows the photo, but nobody knows the story.” 

In the end, Bradley says, his goal was to break down the hero myths about the men in the picture. According to Bradley, because of the way the photo is shot, with every man's face obscured, it is easy to think of the subjects of the picture as supermen; instead, of course, they're everyday people. "To me, the beauty of the photo is that they are us – six ordinary Americans, doing their duty.”

Three of those ordinary American boys would die performing their duty in the days after the photo was taken. For the other three, life became a series of challenges and disappointments.

"It's interesting to find out what happened to these guys – how they got home, what happened to them on the bond tour, and the effect that the war and the tour had on them,” says Eastwood. "It left all of them confused; two of them, especially, led very tough lives.”

Ryan Phillippe stars as Doc Bradley, the Navy Corpsman who was called upon to help the Marines raise the flag. Of the t

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